Free bankruptcy resources are available to anyone considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy – you just have to know where to look. That's the primary purpose of this page. It is here to point you in the right direction, so that you can take advantage of the many resources that are available.
And now, here is a breakdown of the best of the best . . .
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts maintains a website which includes an online directory of the Official Bankruptcy Forms. According to its website, these free bankruptcy forms are "posted to publicize the content and format of the forms and may be used by the public in bankruptcy cases".
Several forms may be amended, with the proposed changes taking place December 1, 2007. For a list of these changes, see the U.S. Court's list of proposed amended bankruptcy forms.
In addition, many district bankruptcy courts have local rules and forms that are available online. Locate your state in the column on the right to look up the link to your local bankruptcy court.
Bankruptcy in the United States is governed by federal statutory law. This law is also available online for anyone interested in learning more about bankruptcy:
Although you may not want to know what is on your credit report, it is necessary to check it before you file personal bankruptcy, if for no other reason than to verify that you did not omit any creditors. Also, after you file bankruptcy, it is very important to check the accuracy of your report as one of the first steps to rebuilding credit.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act require that the three nationwide consumer reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report, upon request, once every 12 months.
The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, as well as a toll-free telephone number and a mailing address, for this purpose. For information, see the Federal Trade Commission's publication "Your Access to Free Credit Reports".
Free advice can take many different forms. For one, many bankruptcy lawyers provide their first meeting with you, also known as the initial consultation, at no charge. If you are on the fence and do not know if bankruptcy is right for you, this is a good time to get answers.
Depending on your income, you may also qualify for free legal representation (also known as pro bono). Contact your local bar association for referrals to pro bono providers.